New art concept revealed for MSP's Terminal 1

Nov 27, 2018

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) along with the Airport Foundation MSP and Arts@MSP, recently welcomed world-renowned artist Jen Lewin to MSP Airport to present her concept for the interactive, public artwork that will be featured on both the ticketing and baggage claim levels of Terminal 1-Lindbergh. Local collaborating artist Betsy Alwin joined Lewin in presenting the concept.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the concept Jen has created for our airport,” said Brian Ryks, MAC Executive Director and CEO. “It’s going to be a stunning piece of artwork and we invite everyone to come out and interact with it once it’s installed.”


A view of the artwork from the ticketing level.

The custom-designed piece will be called Aurora, a hovering wisp of glass and metal, floating above and below the ticketing level floor opening. Created from vintage glass bulbs, an aluminum honeycomb structure, and more than 8000 twinkling, interactive LEDs, the Aurora will mimic a graceful, ever-changing gesture of light.

Below the Aurora, embedded in the floor on the baggage claim level, will be an interactive cluster of reflective glass platforms, the forms of which generally represent the waters of Minnesota and which are loosely derived from several lakes in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.

Standing in the “lakes” will trigger swirling light and interactive color (directly beneath one’s feet).     

The colors will propagate up into the Aurora so that both elements are always displaying the same connected color pallet. Waving one’s hands in the air or moving one’s body above the lake floor will trigger gentle wisps of color that will stretch up and into the Aurora, resembling a gesture of light.

“It’s a very thoughtfully-planned piece,” said Ben Owen, Director, Arts@MSP. “Jen came to the Twin Cities in June for a series of three public meetings and hosted a survey on her website to gather feedback from Minnesotans about what this piece of art might be. And she really used that feedback in developing this concept.”

The Aurora will have 24-36 interactive color palettes. The colors will vary based on season, with blues and whites more common during colder times, greens and yellows more prevalent in the spring, oranges and reds in the fall, and dynamic dark blues during storms (as well as other general weather conditions.)

Lewin and Alwin will begin fabrication of the artwork in March, 2019. The piece is set to be installed in February, 2020, once renovations of the ticketing level have been completed.

More of Jen Lewin’s work can be viewed by visiting the following links:

Instagram: | @jenlewinstudio

Facebook: | @ArtistJenLewin

Twitter: | @jenlewin



Airport Foundation MSP is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the experience and exceeding the expectations of travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Foundation is best known for operating the Travelers Assistance program, a team of more than 400 volunteers who help travelers make the most of their time at MSP and throughout the Twin Cities. In addition, the Foundation partners with the MAC to bring artistic and cultural events to MSP, including live music, exhibits featuring regional artists and commissioned art installations.

The MAC is a public corporation of the state of Minnesota. The MAC owns and operates seven airports in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Altogether, MAC airports generate nearly $17 billion annually for the area economy and support more than 87,000 jobs. The MAC is funded through rents and user fees generated from airport users, not from income or property taxes. Learn more at